Odd Thoughts: Taking the wind out of the Clippers
Written by Peck
Tonight’s game offered us a look at several things but one thing it did not offer was a true glimpse of where our team stands right now as this Clipper team was not whole in general, inexperienced specifically and tired in reality.
We enter the abridged version of Odd Thoughts: Bullet Point style as frankly there just was not much to take away from this game. We won so don’t get me wrong that is great but this is one of those games if you didn’t win we would be wanting to burn someone in effigy, if not in actuality.
• Danny Granger is playing the best defense he has played in years. I mean if you didn’t actually watch him tonight you missed something as he shut Eric Gordon down and was a virtual pain to whoever came to his side of the floor. Nice to have Danny back on track as an overall player and not a chucker.
• Roy Hibbert didn’t start off so swell but eventually picked it up, well after he pulled the Spalding tattoo out of his forehead that Gordon gave him with a nasty in your face jam. But once Roy recovered he had a stretch in the second quarter where he was perfect from the field. He made some bad passes tonight but overall he had a decent game and considering DeAndre Jordan was shooting 78% from the field prior to the game I think Roy did a very good job helping him drop that % some.
• Blake Griffin is huge, athletic, strong and will be a force in this league for years to come and yet he could not budge Tyler Hansbrough. That’s right in their actual head to head matchups (which were limited) Tyler more than held his ground on the defensive end and in fact strength vs. strength Tyler was the immovable object. Does not mean this will be the norm but for tonight Blake had no advantage at all.
• Eric Gordon needs a new basketball home and I have just the place in mind for him. Young, athletic, can shoot, can defend, can pass he just needs a better team to be part of. Eric your Indianapolis roots are calling you. Most teams this would be out of the question but these are the Clippers were talking about here so I am certain that Sterling will want an expiring or two before long. Paging Mr. Bird & Mr. Morway to the white courtesy phone.
• Brandon Rush blocking 5 shots is just unreal in a way. There was a play in the second half that in all honesty I can’t remember which Clipper did this but they got the ball away from the Pacers ran the court but both Paul George & Brandon Rush were back. George caused him to pull up before he wanted to and Rush got the block. I kept thinking during that time how nice it was to actually have athletic long players who cared about defense to be on the floor. I’m not a Rush fanatic by the way and when he scores less than 7 points a game I usually range between forgetting he is on the floor to blood curdling rage, but man when he scores and plays defense he is one heck of a player.
• Foster came in and gave very solid work in 12 minutes of play. Came in and has already hit more jump shots than Josh has all season long as it turned out, who would have thought we would look to Jeff as the scorer between the two. Anyway Solid production, professional demeanor and sadly probably a lot of sore muscles right now. I think they used him tonight and are going to use Solomon Jones vs. the Magic on Saturday. I just don’t think Jeff’s back can take going against Dwight, not that Solomon is going to do any kind of job either but I think it is probably a health issue. Who knows though they will probably go through both by the end of the night.
• A.J. Price is really making it hard to accept him in street cloths. Look I have not been down on T.J. at all this year as he is giving you all he can and at times has provided decent defense. But dang Price just fits our system so well that it is hard to accept that he is in street cloths all the time. His 6-1 turnover ratio is impressive not so much for the few turnovers he got but for the fact that he got 6 assist in a system that is not designed for a point guard to get assist. I really hope the front office is working the phone lines right now because once D.C. comes back there are going to be lots of people on the Pacers Digest that are going to be very upset about A.J. Price getting DNP-CD’s and at this point in time who could blame them.
• I know that Sekou Smith of NBA.com was rooting for a dunk off between Josh McRoberts (or McBob as he has been given permission to call him) & Blake Griffin (BTW does he have a nickname) and he probably had to be a little disappointed that overall neither had anything massive but I guess Josh’s one handed alley oop dunk probably was the best of the two of the night. However hands down Eric Gordon’s dunk on Big Roy was the best.
Ok some quick hits before we get out of here.
My boys up in area55 had the Darnell Hillman fathead out tonight and I loved it.
Tonight’s random comment from a new person behind me was as follows. “When will they put Smits in the game?” To which the person who was with him replied “Rik’s been retired for a few years, he and Reggie retired together”. I just shook my head and could not bring myself to correct them.
Eric Gordon’s dunk on Roy caused Roy to send out this tweet after the game. “Good win but I got dunked on pretty bad. Wow. That’s not a good look. Gonna get clowned by my teammates tomorrow for that one.”